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Republic of the Philippines
Normal Road, Baliwasan, Zamboanga City
Empowering Socio-culture through Critical Regionalism Approach in a Rural Landscape
A Thesis Presented to the College of Architecture,
Western Mindanao State University
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in
AR 155 Architectural Design 9 for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture
Submitted by:
Renel A. Arconada
BS Architecture V-A
Ar. Jeffrey Roy D.S Wee, uap
Thesis Adviser
Ar. Ruby Alita A. Sahi, uap, rmp, M.ArchSci
Class Adviser
a. Rationale
The municipal government is the territorial body in charge of the municipal territory or
municipality; it enjoys political, fiscal, and administrative autonomy within the limits
agreed by the constitution and the decentralization laws of each country, and undeniably,
the Philippines is one of those countries. In a municipal government in the Philippines, a
municipal hall is the chief administrative building of a town or municipality. It usually
houses the municipal council, its associated departments, and its employees.
A municipal hall is a very important building in any democratic society. It makes sure
that the municipality is functioning properly. According to the Local Government Code
of 1991, the municipality, consisting of a group of barangays, serves primarily as a
general-purpose government to coordinate and deliver basic, regular, and direct services
and effective governance of the inhabitants within its territorial jurisdiction. Municipal
hall provides a place where all citizens can go and voice their opinions about the town
and what they think needs to be done to improve the existing conditions. Municipal Hall
is where decisions for the town are determined and it should accurately reflect the built
environment (Buerkle, 2014). The local government may endeavor to use the building to
promote and enhance the community’s quality of life. In many cases, municipal halls
serve as buildings for government functions and have facilities for various civic and
cultural activities. These may include art shows, stage performances, exhibits, and
Located in the eastern part of Zamboanga Sibugay, is a landlocked and mountainous
town called the Municipality of Imelda. As to Imelda, a municipal hall has been put up
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and has stood for several decades and houses the municipal offices. Such a building is
situated on a hilltop in Barangay Sta. Fe (Poblacion) which is an overlooking view of the
whole town proper. Provided with only one narrow access road, the municipal hall is
arguably inaccessible to the public. At the present, the municipal hall is overcrowded due
to the inadequate number of offices and waiting areas. The lack of support facilities,
poorly developed, unorganized planning is also observed. The steep terrain in some parts
of the site has very much affected the orientation of the buildings and parking areas
became limited. Oftentimes, the roadways were being used as parking spaces for both
employees and the local townspeople going to the site. During town fiesta, instead of
event spaces, the local government utilizes the Imelda National High School’s open and
covered court to cater events such as the Tatsulo festival, art contest, dance contest, and
other community events.
According to the Municipal and Planning Development Coordinator, there is an utmost
need for a new municipal hall due to the current condition of the municipal building and
the growing economy of the said municipality (Alde, 2021). The current situation of the
buildings is not the ideal government office as it limits future expansion and is already in
a state of deterioration. The existing municipal hall could serve the public but not as
suitable and accessible for every Imeldahanon, especially for the physically challenged.
Government buildings play the same role whose prime purpose is to serve and influence
the public, aims for the betterment of the country either regional, provincial, municipal
or barangay governance. A municipal hall symbolizes democracy, it resonates
community’s culture and values. However, these aspects could hardly be reflected in the
municipal hall of Imelda. In order to draft an iconic image of a municipal hall that serves
a public purpose in the municipality of Imelda, the researcher proposes a new municipal
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hall; a building typology that enables better governance represents civic pride and
promotes the community’s culture.
Moreover, through this project, the local government unit of Imelda will be able to
execute its role in accelerating economic development and upgrading the quality of life
for the people to the fullest extent. Lastly, aside from proposing a municipal hall
redevelopment for the municipality of Imelda, architecture will be used as the main
catalyst in attaining the most suitable design solution to contribute to a more effective
public service and a culturally-enriched rural community.
b. Statement of the Problem
The deteriorating condition and its lack of supporting facilities have become the
predicament of the Imelda Municipal Hall. Moreover, the existence of these problems
posted threats with regards to the functionality of the main purpose of the Local
Government of Imelda which is to serve and improve the quality of life of the
Imeldahanons. The proponent aims to answer the following questions:
What are the design imperatives and strategies that shall take place to address the
common issues such as lack of supporting facilities and inefficient spaces of the
current municipal hall?
How can approaches in Architecture address and alleviate the problems of the
existing municipal building and the complexity of the site?
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1. Socio-Cultural
Imeldahanons are well-known for their various source of livelihood which is not
only limited to agriculture but also famous for their handicraft and woodcraft
production such as rattan works, wood furniture works, and exquisitely designed
furniture. The vibrant and distinct culture of the existing Subanen tribe. These
aspects have been rooted as part of their history and culture but are slowly losing
connection to the current social life of the Imeldahanons due to globalization and
How can the redevelopment of the municipal hall empower and revitalize the
municipality’s diminishing culture at the same time take part in the global
2. Environmental
Some parts of the Imelda town-proper have been suffering from frequent natural
calamities specifically flashflood due to the constant threat of the Sibugay River.
As for this year 2021, the municipality has already experienced flashflood twice.
Because of this, the current strategy of either private or government developments
is a land reclamation for developments in marshlands and large excavation for
hillside developments just to flatten the site which is very destructive to the natural
How can architectural design ideas and strategies negate the current
environmental issues of the developments in the Municipality?
How can the project lessen its environmental negative impact and promote
environmental-conscious design strategies?
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c. Project Objectives
The project is primarily aimed at improving the quality of life of the Imeldahanons
and resolving the current issues of the site by proposing a new municipal hall that will
benefit the municipal council, the employees, and the public. The project also aims to
empower and revitalize the municipality’s fading culture. The researcher aims to:
1. To provide a new image of a municipal hall for the municipality of Imelda,
Zamboanga Sibugay which will:
a. Contribute to better governance for the community through well-planned spaces.
b. Represent and empower local culture through architectural design strategies.
2. To redevelop the site in a new approach
a. To provide ancillary/supplementary spaces for the benefit of all the different
types of users.
b. To address the environmental issues and set forth for a new approach of
development that lessens the negative impact to the environment.
3. To be an ideal civic that observes the standard health and safety protocols of the
Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
a. To design spaces that adapt to the “new normal”.
d. Architectural Objectives
1. To design a municipal hall with workable and adequate spaces that lead to maximum
productivity for the users at the same time complies with the health and safety
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a. By determining the proper and strategical allocation of space in order to
provide sufficient office spaces and working areas.
By providing a fully-equipped and properly planned municipal building to
attain maximum workability for the users.
c. To design adaptive spaces oriented to social distancing and other procedures
to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.
2. To introduce and design a community center that will cater community events and
gatherings; and will serve as the main public space for the municipality of Imelda.
a. To design flexible multi-purpose hall, public spaces, and parks that
resonates with the community’s culture and will serve as a place for social
b. To provide spaces that promote the use of local materials in order to
recognize woodcraft and handicraft production as part of the community’s
deep-rooted culture.
3. To apply Critical Regionalism as an architectural approach which will:
a. Serve as an architectural principle that embraces the irregularity of the
terrain and considers the unique topographic features of the site.
b. Be an approach to be incorporated into the proposed project to be very selfconscious to the local context and maximize the use of passive design (e.g.,
natural light, local climate) and the use of locally found materials.
c. Showcase building identity with global and local character in its design,
making the development a civic pride, a landmark, and attraction allowing
it to partake in global civilization while promoting local culture.
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e. Significance of the Study
The proposal will play a significant role in the municipality’s governmental
development and in upgrading the quality of life of the Imeldahananons. Significantly,
the study will benefit the government employees, the municipal council, and the
general public. This project will surely serve and bring comfort to all of its users by way
of having a suitable and accessible location and making the services of the fully-equipped
municipal hall more convenient. The project is also significant to the culture of the
municipality as it will embody design strategies that would reverberate and revitalize the
community’s diminishing culture, especially to the existing Indigenous group, the
Subanen tribe.
The proposed redevelopment will also contribute to the economy of the municipality
as it will promote the use of available local materials; to the environment as the project
would try to minimize its impact and would serve as a prototype development in the town
which highly acknowledges the beauty of the natural environment. Lastly, in
Architecture, the study introduces how we can maximize the use of various architectural
approaches showing the flexibility of architecture that can be applied not just in an urban
setting but in a rural context as well.
f. Scope and Delimitations of the Study
The study is primarily aimed at and focused on investigating and analyzing the issues
and predicaments of the current municipal hall being covered in this research. Other
methods to be covered in this study include an extensive survey of the site, conducting
interviews with the respective personnel of the municipal departments, and surveys on
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the interests of the locals. The study will also explore information and design strategies
that will be beneficial to the proposal and explore case studies with regards to existing
municipal halls and related projects from both local and foreign vantage points.
The main purpose of this study focuses on the architectural planning, designing, and
innovations to alleviate current issues of the existing municipal hall only. At present,
departments specifically the Fire and Police departments are strategically dispersed to
other locations that made their function more operational. In addition to this, the
structures are in a good condition as they were built only a few years ago. The study will
not anymore cover research and designing strategies for these building typologies.
g. Definition of Terms
1. Province – refers to the highest level of local government governed by a governor
as its executive and the Sangguniang panlalawigan as the legislature.
2. Municipality – refers to the next level of local government in the Philippines
governed by a municipal mayor as its executive and Sangguniang bayan as its
3. Barangay – smallest local government unit governed by a barangay captain as the
executive and Sangguniang barangay as the legislature.
4. Imedahanon/s – refers to a person residing in the municipality of Imelda.
5. Tatsulo festival – a festival organized by the Local Government Unit of Imelda to
showcase the beautiful culture of the municipality.
6. Poblacion – is the common term used for the administrative center, central,
downtown, old town, or central business district area of a Philippine city or
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municipality, which may take up the area of a single barangay or multiple
7. Municipal mayor – refers to the official elected or appointed to act as chief
executive of the municipality.
8. Subanen/Subanon Tribe – is an indigenous group to the Zamboanga peninsula
area, particularly living in the mountainous areas of Zamboanga Del Sur and is also
present in the mountainous areas of Imelda.
Local Government Unit (LGU) – refers to local government units that may either
be the local governments of highly urbanized cities, provinces, cities, and/or
Section 15 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local
Government Code, defines a local government unit as a body politic and
corporate endowed with powers to be exercised by it in conformity with
the law.
As such, it performs dual functions, governmental and proprietary.
Governmental functions are those that concern health, safety, and the
advancement of the public good or welfare as affecting the public
generally. Proprietary functions are those that seek to obtain special
corporate benefits or earn pecuniary profit and are intended for private
advantage and benefits. When exercising governmental duties, an LGU
is an agency of the national government. When engaged in corporate
activities, it acts as an agent of the community in the administration of
local affairs.
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a. Review of Related Literatures
“Pillars of support for wellbeing in the community” (Kagan, 2007)
Each authority should have a Community Strategy outlining ways in which they will
move to improving the economic, social, and environmental aspects of their areas, and
contributing to the achievement of sustainable development (Kagan, 2007).
In the UK, an Act of Parliament, the Local Government Act, 2000 (Part
I) provided local authorities in England and Wales with a new power of
'well-being', which entitles them to do anything that might achieve:
• The promotion or improvement of the economy and well-being of their area;
• The promotion or improvement of the social well-being of their area;
• The promotion or improvement of the environmental well-being of their area.
Well-being refers, amongst other things, as we have seen, to people's physical,
emotional, and psychological health. It includes the presence of social-emotional coping
skills to maintain that health and happiness. As such, well-being is closely linked to health
in its broadest sense. Well-being includes the development of identity, attainment of
personal goals, the pursuit of spiritual meaning, prevention of maladaptive behaviors,
development of competencies and skills, and the existence of social support. Well-being
is closely linked to the quality of life and to fulfillment of the fundamental human needs
of health and what is known as ‘autonomy of agency’ or control over events in one’s life
(Doyle and Gough 1984, 1991).
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Other countries, either highly-developed or ones that are still developing really thrives
to promote well-being in terms of social, economic, and environmental. Good governance
is often regarded as essential for a country's economic development (Kulshreshtha, 2008).
The municipality of Imelda as one of the municipalities in the region thriving for
developments and prosperity should inherit this type of strategy.
The government is the pillar of support for well-being in the community. Therefore,
the public sector should promote the community it serves by creating an environment that
integrates the people’s way of life and shows to them their importance will improve their
well-being. Improving governance- the way society collectively solves its problems and
meets its needs- is at the core of government strategies to reconcile economic prosperity,
social cohesion, and environmental progress (Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development, 2001).
“Major infrastructure” (Qingwen, 2005)
Community centers play a significant role in the new social welfare sector for various
nations. Community centers have gradually become the major infrastructure of service
delivery in urban China (Qingwen, 2005). Community centers are fundamental features
of many communities as a space for social interaction and the development of social
relationships, which can contribute to social capital, a sense of belonging, and a sense of
community (Colistra, 2019). Community centers served as a salient venue for citizen
development because of their focus on the process instead of the product (Glover, 2004).
When developing community centers, integrating the locals in the process may also
lead to a sense of belongingness in one type of community. Project planning and
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construction through participatory design and implementation with local residents
contributed to enhancing the local residents’ pride and the consciousness of the residents
themselves (Lee, 2019).
“Making connections with the past” (Stiler, 2006)
In Evansville, Indiana, the Carver Community Center uses an academic enrichment
program to support neighborhood students. The curriculum involves children learning
about African-American literary traditions and folk art. The Center's work is based on the
premise that African-American children need to encounter the reality of history as in
integral part of the curriculum; not as a superficial add-on. During the after-school
program described in this article, students constructed replicas of indigenous art from
inexpensive and commonly found materials. The ecology of learning during this 3-month
activity was rich in music, storytelling, and creativity. Elementary students participated
in informal pre- and post-activity discussions that indicated an increased level of
awareness about African-American history (Stiler, 2006).
“Third Places”
“Third places,” as defined by Oldenburg (1989), are the “great, good places” that
foster community and communication among people outside of home and work, the first
and second places of daily life.
For an individual, the third place offers stress relief from the everyday demands of
both home and work. It provides the feeling of inclusiveness and belonging associated
with participating in a group’s social activities, without the rigidity of policy or
exclusiveness of club or organization membership. Creating such an inviting environment
includes “third places” that foster community and communication among people outside
of home and work (Jeffres, 2009).
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Republic Act No. 7160 (An Act Providing For A Local Government Code of 1991)
CHAPTER 1, SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. – (a) It is hereby declared the policy
of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine
and meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest development as selfreliant communities and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national
goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive and accountable
local government structure instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local
government units shall be given more powers, authority, responsibilities, and resources.
The process of decentralization shall proceed from the National Government to the local
government units.
CHAPTER 2, SECTION 17. Basic Services and Facilities. (a) Local government units
shall endeavor to be self-reliant and shall continue exercising the powers and discharging
the duties and functions currently vested upon them. They shall also discharge the
functions and responsibilities of national agencies and offices devolved to them pursuant
to this Code. Local government units shall likewise exercise such other powers and
discharge such other functions and responsibilities as are necessary, appropriate, or
incidental to efficient and effective provision of the basic services and facilities
enumerated herein. (b) Such basic services and facilities include, but are not limited to,
the following: (2) For a Municipality: (vii) Municipal buildings, cultural centers, public
parks including freedom parks, playgrounds, and other sports facilities and equipment,
and other similar facilities.
This act authored on October 10, 1991, solely emphasizes the significance of
government facilities for a town or municipality. Consequently, it serves as a
steppingstone for the proposal to be adhered to and realized.
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Government Architect, 2010)
The government building should contribute to the protection of ecological processes
and natural systems at local, regional, state, and wider levels. The government building
should contribute to economic development. The government building should contribute
to the maintenance of the cultural, economic, physical, and social wellbeing of people
and communities (OQGA, 2010).
A civic center is a network of spaces or buildings that provide essential services to a
city or town. It can include everything from government offices and public meeting
spaces to memorials honoring important members of the community. Civic centers are
tailored to support the often very specific needs of communities. As a result, civic center
architecture design varies dramatically across the country in size, scope, and overall
appearance. According to HMC Architects, these are some of the effective tactics when
designing civic centers:
Design for Functionality. A Civic center serves many purposes in the economic
development of a community that includes the people, therefore, must operate efficiently.
For that reason, the planning strategy must consider the external needs of the community,
the internal operational needs of the center’s staff, and the building itself.
Buildings should be true to their original purpose. A development should strive to create
a better world and promotes the value of functionalism: that buildings should be designed
for functionality (Tanaya, 2019).
Choose the most effective layout. The layout is one of the most important aspects of
civic center architecture design. It should thoughtfully choreograph the visitor experience
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while making the center efficient for staff. It should focus on the following: Seamless
flows, wide corridors, comfortable and appealing courtyards, good acoustics, and future
needs should be considered.
Inject character. It should mirror the qualities and values within its context and be a
source of public pride. The localities and the general public are the first priority in any
civic project therefore a civic center must not only respond to diversity but also embrace
it. A good balance between divergent and traditional perspectives must exist. A civic
center should provide a wealth of information and taste history from the local region.
Artworks from local artists could also be incorporated to represent community values and
exude positivity.
Offer community amenities. In addition to meeting the needs of the community and
staff, consider additional amenities that will draw more visitors to a civic center and make
them feel comfortable while being there, including public transportation access, classes,
coffee shop. Consider partnering with a local business to further support the interests of
the community.
Critical regionalism is an architectural concept that seeks to balance local needs and
capabilities with the progressive lessons of modernization (Bahga and Raheja, 2018). It
strives to counter the lack of identity and relationship of architecture towards its location
and context. It is a strategy for achieving a more humane architecture in the face of
universally held abstractions and international clichés. Critical regionalism implores the
use of critical analysis in solving problems or exploring possibilities rather than creating
a solution that is insensitive to its context and location.
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Towards A Critical Regionalism (Kenneth Frampton, (1981)
The bulldozing of an irregular topography into a flat site is clearly a technocratic
gesture that aspires to a condition of absolute placelessness, whereas the terracing of
the same site to receive the stepped form of a building is an engagement in the act of
"cultivating" the site. It is possible to argue that in this last instance the specific culture
of the region – that is to say, its history in both a geological and agricultural sense –
becomes inscribed into the form and realization of the work.
This inscription, which arises out of "inlaying" the building into the site, has many
levels of significance, for it has a capacity to embody, inbuilt form, the prehistory of
the place, its archeological past, and its subsequent cultivation and transformation
across time. Through this layering into the site, the idiosyncrasies of place find their
expression without falling into sentimentality.
Re-evaluating Critical Regionalism: An Architecture of the Place (Andreea Cutieru,
“There is a different way for architecture to move beyond Modernism without
returning to the architectural language of the past” (Cutieru, 2021).
Critical Regionalism proposed an architecture that would embrace global influences
while firmly rooted in its context. Critical Regionalism necessarily involves a more
directly dialectical relation with nature than the more abstract, formal traditions of
modern avant-garde architecture allow (Frampton, 1981). It seeks architectural
traditions that are deeply rooted in the local conditions which result in highly intelligent
and appropriate architecture. By being critical of a region’s building traditions, a
practitioner is able to extract only the essence of these traditions rather than literal
references (Lefaivre and Tzonis, 2003).
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In its broadest sense, then, the critical regionalist sensibility looks to the uniqueness
of site and location -a design method that is assuredly modern but relies on the organic
unity of local material, climatic, and cultural characteristics to lend coherence to the
finished work. The result is an architecture suited to light and touch.
Critical Regionalism in the Philippine Context
Critical regionalism is the response to the identity crisis in architecture. It is an
architectural answer of creating architecture to be neither a vacuously international
practice nor a slushy utilization of the vernacular (Elpedes, 2012). It is regionalist in
the sense of not being internationalist and critical in the sense of not being a slavish
imitation of older forms. When a municipality or town, a city, or a nation is seen to be
different and unique to itself, it will be a point of interest of its neighboring communities
thus increasing the potential for foreign tourists to come by. These are but a few reasons
why the identity of a community is important consequently requiring critical
regionalism in the field of architecture.
According to Filipino Architect Edwin Uy in an interview: “Critical regionalism is
something incorporated into the concept itself”. In a distinguished critical regionalist
building, the components of the environment and the natural landscape or of one’s local
culture are integrated into the architecture of the structure, instead of utilizing the
typical global elements of one type of architecture. To consider this approach in a
broader perspective, checking out the locality even before coming up with a concept is
very necessary. Ocular inspections are very important. Surveying the site and also
studying the village, the town, or the local context where the structure will be built is
part of the concept of critical regionalism.
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Summary and Conclusion
A community, city, or nation’s identity is indeed very important. It is the measure of
the total growth of the country. One can’t say that because of the arising technological
breakthrough, a country can be considered growing in the same way, it will not show a
nation’s growth when it keeps a tight grip on its historic past. To solve this issue, we have
the concept of critical regionalism. Being distinguished is very vital as it shows how the
town or municipality has developed.
It’s important to have cultural insights when designing, as it can help us understand
how users think and behave. How their mind works. In architecture, critical regionalism
is easily recognizable for it readily shows that in today’s modernizing age, the culture,
the tradition, and the self of a nation, a city, or municipality can be identified through
architecture. Critical regionalism plays such fine balance that takes the logical, practical
values of modernists, but also embraces the nuances of local heritage, variety, and
peculiarities that make a place thoroughly unique and thus give them an identity.
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b. Case Studies
Foreign Case Studies
1. Säynätsalo Town Hall ( Municipaity of Säynätsalo, Finland)
building complex, consisting of
two main buildings organized
around a centralized courtyard;
a U-shaped council chamber
administrative offices and a
community library with flats.
Occupying the center of a small farming town in Finland, Säynätsalo’s Town Hall
might appear almost too monumental for its context. Designed by Alvar Aalto in 1949,
the town hall is a study in opposition: elements of classicism and the monumental blended
with modernity and intimacy to form a cohesive new center-point for the community.
These and other aspects of the design initially proved somewhat divisive, and the Town
Hall has not been without controversy since its inception.
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Aalto’s winning proposal for the project follows the traditional European court-andtower model of a civic center. The complex consists of two wood-framed brick buildings:
the rectangular library block and the U-shaped government building. These two buildings
act as a retaining wall that allowed Aalto to fill the central courtyard with earth excavated
from the slope of the site; thus, the courtyard is lifted one story above the surrounding
The sense of public
extensive glazing of the
corridor lining two sides
of the courtyard. The
permeability of these spaces makes for a stark contrast with the most prominent feature
of the town hall: the council chamber.
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The courtyard itself is only partially paved,
continuing the juxtaposition of brick and grass
begun by the two staircases. The entrances to
the civic offices and the public library open
onto the courtyard, allowing it to serve not
only as an open circulatory space, but also as
a public plaza for the benefit of the entire
Entry into the council chamber brings one
into space of a much grander scale than that of the
stairway leading to it. The room is roughly cubic,
with the distance from floor to ceiling nearly
matching the length of the walls. The ceiling, whose
slope matches that of the roof, is visibly supported
by wooden struts fanning out from two central
beams; these struts support the roof entirely,
negating the need for heavy built-in framing that
would obstruct ventilation between the interior and
exterior surfaces of the roof. The council chamber is
naturally lit by a densely-louvered west-facing
window, with hanging lamps illuminating both the
desks below and the wooden trusses above them.
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2. Viborg Town Hall (Viborg, Denmark)
With its complex faceted
becomes a symbol of the new
large municipal community that
opens in the wake of the
municipal merger.
The interplay between house and park creates a new place in the town where the large
inner atrium is the heart that
professional community with
the community of the citizens.
The town council hall is
flexibly designed and together
with the canteen, foyer and an
adjoining meeting room it can
be converted into a conference
centre. The café on the top
floor of the building has direct
access to the roof garden with
a view of Viborg Cathedral.
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3. Huis van Albrandswaard Municipal Building (Albrandswaard, Netherlands)
The Huis van Albrandswaard is a new office building for the municipality of
Albrandswaard. The building was designed by Gortemaker Algra Feenstra architects,
after convincingly comi ng out on top with their eye-catching round design at the architect
selection process in 2018. Residents, politicians, and civil servants have to feel welcome
in this new building, which will also house several other departments alongside the town
hall, such as the district team, the Albrandswaard Well-being Foundation, RTV
Albrandswaard, the multifunctional council chamber which can also be used as a space
for events, as well as the sports cafeteria of the gym next door.
Everyone has to go to the town
hall at some point for things like a
driver’s license or a passport, but
opportunity to host exhibitions,
readings, or performances when
there aren’t any council meetings going on. The civil servants and politicians that work
in this building are visible to visitors due to the transparent layout. The cafeteria for the
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civil servants is merged with the sports cafeteria of the connecting gym. This encourages
more interaction between council members and citizens.
The council chamber, public desk, work stations, and gym, all connected. After passing
through the main entrance you’ll find yourself in an open area with public desks. From
here you’ll have a nice view of the council chamber, of which the floor is one meter lower.
Through the wooden stands, you can descend to that level. The civil servants’ work
stations are situated around the council chamber, as well as the work stations of the mayor
and the council members.
Durable building is the main
focus of the design. Because the
building is round, it has a smaller
circumference than a square
building with the same surface
area. Saving energy starts with
the building shape because the
energy you don’t need is the most durable type of energy. The building has a compact
outer hull due to its round shape, meaning its surface area barely cools off.
At the south side of the
building, you’ll find awnings
offering protection from the
warm summer sun while also
being high enough to let
through the low winter sun.
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This means the building requires less cooling in the summer and less heating in the winter.
On top of that, the entire roof is covered with solar panels, which means the building
easily passes the new BENG (Nearly Energy Neutral Building) and is even completely
energy neutral.
4. The Qinchang Village Town Hall (Xiuwu County, Jiaozuo, Henan Province,
The Qinchang Village Town hall is located directly to the east of the Qinchang
Village CPC Community Center in Xiuwu County, Jiaozuo, Henan Province. It is
the second phase of the Qinchang Village CPC Center Complex. While Phase I on
the west side accommodates mostly non-profit community services programs and
ceremonial spaces, the east side focuses on the introduction of small local
businesses as well as cultural and recreational programs, including a store selling
local farm produce and handicrafts souvenirs, a small café, a restaurant, a gallery as
well as a children’s library.
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naturally formed by these
interacts with the west side
cloister-style one, continuing
and reinforcing the porosity
and accessibility from the
west: openings in-between
all of the individual buildings
allows villagers to access or
multi-functional open space
also provides villagers of all ages with a place for social and recreational activities, which
complements, balances, and enriches the tranquil, ceremonial ambience of the West
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1. Tagum City Hall, City of Tagum, Philippines
Tagum city is one
of the top most livable
Philippines, and was
one of the finalists in
Most Child Friendly
City in the Philippines – Component Category along with Laoag, and Talisay, Cebu. In
the recently released 2017 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), the
City of Tagum ranked third on the Overall Competitive Component Cities in the
Philippines, second on Infrastructure, fourth in Resiliency, seventeenth on Economic
Dynamism and twenty-fourth on Government Efficiency.
Post modernist in approach and notable for its design bravura, this city hall combines
a multiplicity of disc-like geometries, prominent volumes, and bold, even surprising
elements like the suspension cable system that seems to hold up the roof. A little overdesigned perhaps but may be aspirational, for the ambitions and goals of the city.
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2. Balanga City Hall (Balanga City, Philippines)
By: WTA Architecture and Design Studio
Envisioned to be the anchor
of a proposed city center, the
Balanga City Hall is an 11,865
development that rethinks the
program of a civic center.
Situated north of the old city
center, it is designed to cater to a new generation of Balangueños with contemporary
As the focal point of a new
city center that promotes a
neighborhood, this new City
Hall is also made more
accessible as compared to
traditional monolithic models.
program into a solid structure, the new City Center breaks the program into clusters of
buildings interconnected by a green spine—creating an integrated city hall park. This
concept gears towards a progressive direction implying a more transparent and
participatory government structure, sustainable development, and a people-centric
P a g e | 29
unorthodox program, the form appears
like fragmented pieces of stones from a
solid piece of rock permeated by a
people’s park that implies a stream. Like
a flowing stream, the stream that
connects the old and new city centers, the
design empowers the people to access the
city hall park and enliven it.
3. San Fernando City Hall, San Fernando (Pampanga, Philippines)
Designed like a row of townhouses
this building boldly employs Baroquelike elements. A lot of attention was
given to the facade, with a merry mix
of rounded pediments punctuated by
Ionic columns topped by dentils and
underlined by heavy cornices, an
ornate fence decorating the front and a stylized pediment capping the façade. San
Fernando is a city familiar with neoclassical and baroque designs as they often use them
in their export furniture so in a way this is a reflection of the city’s culture and industry.
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4. Bacolod New Government Center
The New Government Center or the NGC is now one of the new landmarks of Bacolod
City. It stands on a 5-hectare lot donated by Fernando F. Gonzaga, Inc. and Angela Estate,
Inc. Inaugurated in July 2010, it replaced the old City Hall at Araneta-Luriaga Streets. It
cost the City and its people almost 400 million to build this new seat of power. Since the
start of operation of the NGC, it has attracted business and trade in the surrounding area.
What used to be a vast sugarcane field has now been transformed into a busy development
area in the city.
Undoubtedly neoclassical in form this building makes a grand gesture with its
imposing façade set off an expansive plaza with a substantial water feature. It is a good
interpretation of neoclassical architecture as designed and constructed today. However, it
adheres much to the design of the provincial capital, one of the most beautiful in the
country and a masterpiece of the neoclassical by Juan Arellano, to the point of mimicry.
Some landscaping and vegetation would work well to ‘soften’ the hard edges of the
building and provide relief from the sun and heat for commuters.
The NGC grounds are frequented by joggers, pet lovers with their dogs, friends or
families hanging out, etc. It has also been a favorite of photography enthusiasts for
workshops or commercial shoots. The NGC fast becoming one of the most photographed
landmarks in the city.
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c. Conceptual Framework
The conceptual framework above shows how the critical regionalism approach
directly affects the four underlying aspects that the proposed project wants to embody
and promote, which are the social aspect, environmental aspect, economic aspect, and
cultural aspect together with the supporting relevant factors that were formulated based
on the statement of the problem. The crosshair-like diagram shows how the critical
regionalism approach intervenes with the relevant aspects and the proposed project at the
center as the main target of the thesis. Moreover, the formulated conceptual framework
is a direct correspondent to the statement of the problem and objectives.
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This chapter will present and describe the procedures of how the research is to be
carried out. This part will also provide information about the method being used in
establishing this research as well as a rationalization for the use of the specific method.
The chapter also illustrates and exemplifies the several phases of the study, which consist
of determining the research respondents, the projected research environment, the data
gathering procedure, the data treatment and analysis, and lastly the instruments to be used.
a. Research Design
The descriptive type of research makes use of both quantitative and qualitative
methods in this study. The diagram below is a framework that shows the whole process
of the study.
Research Framework
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b. Research Environment
The research environment of this study is the Municipality of Imelda, Zamboanga
Sibugay. Currently classified as a 4th class municipality in Zamboanga Sibugay with a
total population of 26,020 people according to the 2020 census. A landlocked and
mountainous agricultural town and the least populous municipality in the Province and
the third smallest in terms of land area. The study will undergo investigation and
observation, particularly on the existing Municipal Hall and all the aspects involved such
as social, environmental, and cultural characteristics of the community.
c. Research Respondents
The research respondents are mainly the residents of the Municipality of Imelda. They
will be interviewed to acquire factual and truthful information based on their observations
on current conditions and issues associated with the study. However, it is likely
impossible to collect data for each citizen present in the community, hence a probability
sampling method shall take place in the process. According to (McCombes, 2019), it
involves random selection allowing to make strong statistical inferences. Moreover, this
method enables the survey to comply with the required minimum.
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The survey shall cover a sample size of at least a minimum of 100 respondents to
participate in answering the survey questionnaires as a method of the research. The
proponent will also conduct formal interviews with the government personnel on the
selected government offices and agencies to gather information related to the study. The
results of surveys and interviews will contribute to the acquisition of primary data
together with the gathered data from agencies and ocular investigations. It will help with
a better evaluation for a more appropriate conclusion and recommendation.
d. Data Gathering Procedure
1. Primary Data Gathering Procedure
The starting point of procedures in collecting the primary data is observation, personal
ocular investigation in the research environment, jotting down notes, taking photos on
the current situation specifically on the Municipal Hall, and observing the environments,
activities, and behaviors of the community. Second, is the creation of survey
questionnaires then to be consulted to the ethics board for approval, then conducting an
online survey through google forms, the questionnaires will be sent/shared to the
respondents within the locality.
2. Secondary Data Gathering Procedure
The procedures in collecting the secondary data are, preparing a formal letter to gather
data to various government agencies and offices related to the study. Before distributing
the letters, these will first undergo a consultation with the thesis adviser for approval. The
approved letters will then be distributed/emailed to the respective government agencies
and offices for data gathering. The inputs of Case Studies will serve as guidance to
achieve the most appropriate and applicable strategy for the proposal. Lastly, after the
P a g e | 35
surveys, observations, and data collection, all the gathered data will be assessed and
evaluated for data analysis and interpretation.
3. Treatment of Data
The data being collected will then be treated with the utmost confidentiality and
will be used for this study only.
e. Research Instruments
The research utilizes various instruments to acquire factual information and data
related to the study ranging from ocular investigations and observations, interviews, and
survey questionnaires which are part of the essentials for the completion of the research
endeavor; to reliable articles, books, and journals that are available on the internet which
would supplement the information needed for the validity of this study. The study will
also utilize government offices and agencies in acquiring data which includes: Philippines
Statistic Authority (PSA), Office of the Municipal Planning and Development
Coordinator, Office of the Municipal Administrator, Electronic Freedom of Information
(eFOI), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
f. Site Selection Criteria
The site selection criteria would show the existing site's attributes for the proposed
project. For the proposal to achieve greater possibilities and unbiased selection of the site,
the proponent will look for 2 (two) other possible sites carrying potentials for the
proposed project. This research process would assess different criteria ranging from land,
zoning, safety & security and accessibility, and other relevant factors affecting the
proposal. The table below shows the different criteria with number ratings (3- highest,
P a g e | 36
1- lowest) to determine the best option for each category. The existing site together with
the selected potential sites will then be rated and scored with the most favorable rating
from each category based on its condition and suitability for the proposal. A justification
for each category has also been provided for a brief explanation of how the site should
be rated for each criterion.
Criteria for Site Selection
Zoning and Land Use
Within Institutional Zone
Within Residential/ Commercial
Within Agricultural Zone
Land Area
Approx. 5-6 hectares
Approx. 3-4 hectares
Approx. 1-2 hectares
Safety and Security
Low-risk possibility
Medium risk possibility
High-risk possibility
Utilities and Services
Utilities and services are
available and sufficient
The site must be at the
appropriate and fitting land use or
zoning of the municipality. It should
provide special use for an institutional
The site must have sufficient
land area to be put up with a
municipal building and other
supporting facilities included in the
The site must ensure safety
and security for all types of users.
There should be peace and order
around the vicinity and of the
surrounding community.
Utilities and services must be
available within and around the site.
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Utilities and services are
Non-existence of utilities and
Approx. 5-10 minutes away
from the town center
Approx. 20-30 minutes away
from the town center
1 hour and above away from the
town center
The site should be proximate
to the town center and should just be
a few minutes away through vehicular
Accessible by all types of public
and private vehicles
Accessible by private vehicles
Not accessible by all types of
Low population density
Medium population density
High population density
The site must be accessible by
all types of vehicular transportation
present in the municipality.
Although the type of project is
highly for the community of Imelda,
the site should consider a low density
of population to maintain stability and
to mediate possible threats such as
population growth and man-made
Expansion Capability
Excellent expansion capability
The site must be capable to
Good expansion capability
Poor expansion capability
The shape and terrain as
natural features of the land must be
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Relatively flat
Moderate slopes
Steep slopes
Flora and Fauna
Excellent flora and fauna
Good flora and fauna
Absence of flora and fauna
capable enough about the most
favorable project construction and
planning. Relatively flat to moderate
terrain should be considerable enough
for the proposal.
The flora and fauna as
environmental factors should exist
within the vicinity of the site which
can be used to supplement the
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